A reflection, by Bob Fulkerson:
In reflecting on the end of Asian American Month, I am ashamed for knowing so little about this community, but I’m glad that there have been more events and attention this year than ever before.
If you missed two of Nevada’s most powerful women Asian American leaders, Lorenzita Santos and Amy Koo from One APIA Nevada, talking about their work on “What’s the Tea,” you can catch it here Nevada is lucky to have such a strong base-building organization in the API community and you can support them by giving them a donation here .
Not to be outdone, our friends at Peoples Action held a webinar on stopping Anti-Asian Hate featuring AAPI leaders from throughout the country. If you missed it, you can catch it here!
And northern Nevada activist Jeanette Strong penned this powerful op-ed about the need to pay attention to the forgotten and brutal AAPI history in Nevada:
I just finished the poet Cathy Park Hong’s “Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning,” then I listened to her discuss the book with two of our country’s most brilliant, hard-hitting Black culture/race theorists on their podcast, “Still Processing.”
As they explain, the book basically demands people start paying attention to Black, Brown, Indigenous and People of Color—and to their rage. She describes how Asian activists learned from the Black Power Movement in the Bay Area in the late ’60’s, and then organized to promote the then-radical identity phrase, “Asian American,” which today sounds an ultra-establishment census term. But it was composed as an empowering term for a group, who prior to that had no identity in this country other than “Oriental.” Hong delves into the challenges of this identity label, as Asia is a huge land mass, from Pakistan to the Philippines, with so many histories and people condensed into that term.
Indigenous and communities of color have been gaslit into thinking they are the pathology, that their inherent racial deficiencies within this white-dominant economic structure are the problem. They are expected to accept, to sit quietly with this lie, and to see themselves the way their oppressors do. The rage that stems from this realization is not a one-off awareness, but a daily workout for liberation, they explain.
Finally, Hong’s admonition that movements need rage, joy, play, “and of course silence to think” really resonated with me. As organizers, we must build ways of incorporating these into our transformation strategies, and look to AAPI leadership for additional visionary ways forward.